More Reason$ Why I Do Not Like Green Egg$ and (ken) Ham

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,and if I have a faith that can move mountains,but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Cor 13:1-3 NIV (Ken Ham-take note)

Carina Nebula -Courtesy of Hubble Telescope

Last night, I enjoyed the season premier of Falling Skies, a Stephen Spielberg and DreamWorks production. This story, which originally premiered in 2011, takes place after a group of invading aliens have killed, in fairly short order, billions of people. All that is left is a small group of humans who have formed a resistance. We still do not know the purpose of the aliens’ attack on earth. However, last night I heard one of the most honest dialogues I have ever heard in any science fiction series.

A resistance leader is brought before one of the aliens who is presumably in charge. (The series has at least a couple of species of aliens). The human asks the obvious question, “Why?” The alien responds by reciting a list of human atrocities: The Trail of Tears, The Killing Fields, Hitler, etc. He (if he is a he) then says, “Why do you think we would be any different than you?” The human said (paraphrase) “Look at all you have built, the technology, I thought this would make a difference?”

Boom! In a few short sentences we have defined the human condition.
1. All (humans and aliens) have fallen and are capable of great atrocities.
2. Science and technology will not change the heart of man.
3. Science and technology only reflect those who control it.

I will reflect more on this at the end of this post.

What does all of this have to do with this post? As many of our readers know, this is a hot button issue for me.That’s what is fun about having a blog. I get to indulge my “thing.” I do not like Ken Ham. However, I have always thought of him as a zealot, a true believer, sort of like Don Quixote minus the lovability factor. On the other hand, one of my dear friends has, for years, contended that Ken Ham is in it for the money. I have disagreed with him, until now.

To this friend, I say, you win, as usual. (However, I still disagree with you on the Nephilim thing).This post is dedicated to his two brilliant offspring and him.

A couple of weeks ago, the Guy Behind the Curtain sent me an email alerting me to this story. I contacted Greg Neyman who gave me permission to reprint this. I have always referred people to Answers in Creation because it does a wonderful job of refuting the “science” on Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis (AIG) site. Even if one were to support AIG, one should have the strength of character and intelligence to understand the other side. Although I believe in an old earth (4 1/2 billion years), I have read very extensively on the AIG site, as well as other sites, which defend a young earth position.

The following story has me livid. In this account, it is clear to me that Ken Ham has retreated to the legal world to protect his income stream at AiG.I believe this is dirty pool and will forever define his “ministry.” Greg Neyman, Hugh Ross, Francis Collins and many others demonstrate the true love of Christ in disagreement. Ham comes across as a mean, vengeful little man who has lost the battle on the science front and is now losing the battle on the Christian front. I do not like Ken Ham.

Answers in Creation has changed its name to Old Earth Ministries. Greg told me that it will make things clear for people who visit his site. I think there was more to this name change. Perhaps a cadre of well-paid lawyers proved a bit too much for a wonderful man who is providing a much needed service with precious little income and without a “ministry” that generates a large volume of cash. I repeat (for the benefit of any Hamite lawyers), Greg did not tell me this. It is merely speculation on my part.

Answers in Genesis Complaint against Old Earth Ministries

 
By Greg Neyman
 
In November of 2011, a law firm representing Answers in Genesis contacted Answers In Creation (our former name), suggesting that we change our name in order to eliminate any confusion between the two websites.  (Letter One, dated 3 November 2011).  AiG complained that people who may be looking to donate to their ministry would be confused, and donate to AIC instead.  Since our names are similar, they could make a case that OEM infringes on AIG’s trademark.
    
What is a trademark?  A trademark is a word, symbol, or phrase, used to identify a particular manufacturer or seller’s products and distinguish them from the products of another.  If a party owns the rights to a particular trademark, that party can sue subsequent parties for trademark infringement. The standard is “likelihood of confusion.” To be more specific, the use of a trademark in connection with the sale of a good constitutes infringement if it is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of those goods or as to the sponsorship or approval of such goods. 

Notice the phrase “the use of a trademark in connection with the sale of a good.”  What similar goods does AiG and Answers In Creation have in common?  We both have homeschool curriculum.  Old Earth Ministries derived money from curriculum in two ways.  Most curriculum on AIC is free, and users have the option to make a donation to the website if they have found the curriculum useful.  Second, the new Dinosaur Curriculum which went online in Fall 2011 was free, but offered a test kit for a fee.  These curriculums are distinct from AiG’s products, and are clearly marked as “old earth.”  To be on the safe side, to remove any possibility of infringement AIC stopped taking donations and selling the test kit.  Since trademark law protects the maker of a product and the sale of goods, and we no longer sell anything, we cannot infringe a trademark.

This brings up an interesting point.  AiG’s clear interest in protecting their sales through trademark law is an indication that AiG operates more as a business than a ministry.  Young earth creationism is big business, employing nearly 300 people in the United States, and when you combine all the young earth groups, they do nearly thirty million dollars in business each year.

A response was sent to the lawyer for Answers in Genesis.  By eliminating  all sources of income, including donations, Answers In Creation became 100 percent privately funded, and operated as a website providing critical analysis of YEC claims, which is within our First Amendment rights of free speech.
 
Round Two
 
On 21 December, lawyers for AiG once again contacted us, again requesting that we change our name.  (Letter Two).  This new letter mentions that I offer “ministerial services” (counseling).

What is the driving force behind Answers in Genesis’ motives?  Since I removed all of the fundraising links, I am not taking any money away from Answers in Genesis (they make over 22 million per year, whereas AIC/OEM operates on a budget of $439 per year).  So their motivation is not about money, but about censorship of views that are critical of their young earth message.
    
Our main message is that people need Jesus Christ, and that the length of creation is not important.  Paul, when he was imprisoned, mentioned the preaching of Christ by others (Philippians 1).  The motives were not pure for these other preachers, but Paul did not care.  He said, “whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.”  If Answers in Genesis were following Paul’s example, they would rejoice that I am presenting the Gospel to people who do not believe the earth is young (Even more so, since my motives are pure).
    
Since ceasing donations, I have been tested by either AiG or their law firm, as people have offered donations in return for “ministerial services” (counseling).  ‘Tell me how to reconcile an old earth and Christianity, and I’ll make a donation!’ (paraphrased).  It seems strange that a Christian ministry would get someone to misrepresent (lie) themselves in order to entrap me to accept a donation.  This is not something I would expect from a Christian ministry that claims to follow the Bible.  (If AiG had a legal case against me, why are they trying to fabricate evidence against me?)
    
If someone seeking the truth, and wishing to learn how they can become a Christian and believe in an old earth, asks me a question, it appears that Answers in Genesis considers this counseling.  Am I to understand that if I am asked how to become a Christian, I cannot answer?  That is a strange position, for a ministry to try and restrict another ministry from sharing the Gospel!  Just to clarify again, a trademark protects a company in the sale of goods and services, and I have never charged for giving advice on how to become a Christian.  I wonder if Answers in Genesis is considering charging people when they advise them on Christian matters.  (Last time I checked, the Gospel is free to all men.)
     
Further evidence that Answers in Genesis is a business, and not a ministry, is found in the fact that they are ignoring Jesus’ words about how to solve a dispute between two believers.  Matthew 18:15 says that for disputes (sins) between Christians, the offended party is to go to him in private.  We are not supposed to air our Christian disputes.  Therefore AiG should have come to me directly, and not through a law firm. 
 
     Here are the facts as they stand:
 
1.  We are a non-profit website, offering reviews of young earth claims.

2.  The standard by which trademark infringement is judged is called “likelihood of confusion.”  Among other things, AiG would need to show evidence of confusion.  Considering that I have over 1,000 emails from young earth believers, condemning me for my position, I can say that Answers in Genesis’ followers are not confused at all (although it appears that Answers in Genesis is confused as to whether it is a ministry (operating on Biblical principles) or a business (operating by man-made laws).

4. Why not simply change the name and be done with it?  Several reasons.  First, the name is not causing any problems for AiG followers.  Second, thousands of old earth creationists know about the site, and refer people to it.  Third, there are thousands of links from other websites back to Old Earth Ministries.  Changing a name will disrupt these links, causing them to be directed to a simple page, referring them to the new site.  Webmasters of other sites, too numerous to contact, will have to change their links.

Finally, for Old Earth Ministries there is no benefit to changing the name.  The only one who benefits from a name change is Answers in Genesis, who would love to see the links disrupted, making it harder for people to find critiques of their claims, and making Old Earth Ministries’s Google and other search engine rankings plummet.

5. We have used this name for nine years (since January 2003). 
When Answers In Genesis-USA took over and kicked the Australian contingent out of AiG (they eventually formed Creation Ministries International), AiG started a new print magazine, which is now known as Answers.  When the magazine was first announced in early 2006, the title of the new magazine was Creation Answers.  Realizing the title was too close to my website’s title, the name was shortened to Answers before publication began.  So we have come full circle…they used to be concerned about infringing on my name, and now they accuse me of being too close to their name.  This also brings up another point.  AiG has known about Answers In Creation since at least February 2006.  Why wait more than five years to bring the issue up?
 
I informed Answers in Genesis that the name Answers In Creation would remain.
 
 If Answers in Genesis wants to sue a mailman for pointing out their scientific and Biblical errors, they may do so.  That should make for some interesting publicity for both our websites.
 
Greg Neyman

Email: link here

Conclusion:

There is one thing that those on all sides of the creation debate can agree on, humans are afflicted with a heart condition that science will never cure. On the other hand, science can reveal to us the glories and wonders of this creation of our most magnificent God. Science has found cures to diseases and invented this computer on which I am writing.

This blog is dedicated to exploring issues of spiritual abuse as well as to expose problems with pastors and Christian leaders who become so enamored of their own theology and prowess that they get too big for their britches and start hurting other Christians. These men are so weak that they cannot allow anyone to disagree with them. I applaud the homeschooling conventions which disinvited ken Ham last year due to his “attacks” on other Christians who have ministries that disagree with him link

Here is my question. If aliens were to observe these self-appointed “biblical” leaders, would they see love or just another group of mini-ideologues who really enjoy the money and the perks? Would they observe these Christians being different?

I would urge our readers to send a supportive note to Greg Neyman. Oh yeah, did I say,”I do not like Green Eggs and (ken) Ham?”

Lydia’s Corner:Hosea 1:1-3:5 1 John 5:1-21 Psalm 124:1-8 Proverbs 29:5-8

 

Comments

More Reason$ Why I Do Not Like Green Egg$ and (ken) Ham — 154 Comments

  1. I am 35 years old. I am also very OKAY with saying I don’t know exactly what I believe when it comes to the Old Earth/Young Earth thing. I’ve debated it intrinsically for years. If I absolutely had to make a stance, I tend to lean to Old Earth because I have a very scientific education background – yet I am also very much a Christian who takes the Bible seriously.

    I believe God and science can live together happily.

    I have always rolled my eyes at Ken Ham and AiG. Their overwhelming presence in the homeschool community bothers me. I don’t want their magazine, movies, or dinosaur books. Ken Ham’s racist position on not mingling “blood lines” bothers me way more than the old/new earth thing. He believes the “cursed off-spring of Ham” are the black people of Africa….urrrrgh.

    And the irony of his last name being Ham is not lost on me either.

  2. I also do not know which I believe, old earth or young earth. As long as it does not affect my salvation, I don’t get rattled about it. I also do not have a problem with science. I love science and hearing/reading info regarding what God has designed. But as I said, it is God that truly knows the truth and I wonder sometimes if he doesn’t get a kick out of watching us run around in a frenzy getting so upset over these secondary issues. Can’t you picture him shaking his head sometimes!!! ha, ha.

  3. I think a bunch of people need to create web sites that are “Answers in ________”. Could be anything. Fill in the blank.

    Answers in: Science, Exodus, Revelation, Matthew, Cosmology, Paleontology, Chemistry, Physics, Botany, and 62 other books of the Bible. All of them could refer the reader automatically to the Answers in Creation web site!

    It would be most fun. And it would make for an interesting time. They would have to research to find each of many people to send a letter to, who could then drop the site.

  4. Is High Ross Hugh Ross’s hippie brother? ;-)

    This argument is fairly well settled for me (I’m with Francis Collins), so I don’t have anything to say, other than that this furor makes me sad (or would führer be a more appropriate term? Nah, that’s a better fit for the pope of the SBC. Oh, but wait, can we have more than one? In that case…).

    I’ll now pass along a mostly irrelevant but beautiful musical composition entitled “Oraison” (“Prayer”). It fits my mood in times like this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKky73-9yOU

  5. Hi Lindsey,
    I just wanted to correct your statement that “Ken Ham’s racist position on not mingling “blood lines” bothers me way more than the old/new earth thing. He believes the “cursed off-spring of Ham” are the black people of Africa”
    Ken Ham co-authored a book called “One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism.”, in this book he addresses both “mingling blood lines” and “cursed off-spring of Ham” let me quote:
    “True Science in the present fits with the biblical view that all people are rather closely related- there is only one “race” biologically. Therefore, there is in essence no such thing as “interracial marriage” (One Blood pg.89-90) he goes on to say that according the the Bible the only wrong marriage is between a Christian and a non-Christian.
    And about the “cursed off-spring of Ham” he says “False teaching about Ham has been used to justify slavery and other non-biblical, racist teaching” (One Blood pg. 100) and “The curse of Canaan has nothing whatsoever to do with skin color, but is in fact an example warning fathers to train their children in godly principles. If this is not done in one generation, then generations to come will express their rebellious nature.” (One Blood pg. 103)
    You don’t have to agree with Ken Ham and AIG in the young earth views as I do, but I had to say something because your statement about Mr. Ham being a racist is not true.
    May God bless you in the coming week,
    In Christ,
    Chrsitna.

  6. Scooter’s Mom
    Unfortunately, people like Ken Ham, by their behavior, demonstrate that they believe this is a primo issue.

  7. Arce
    That is so much fun. We would have a laugh. Ham would believe we are all heretics trying to undermine the word of God. To be called a heretic by Ham would be a life achievement.

  8. Josh
    Beautiful music is never irrelevant! Sorry about the typo but thank you for the laugh. I love Francis Collins.

  9. Christina
    Ken Ham’s demeanor and pronouncements are off putting to many people, including Christians (although I know he questions some of us in this regard). it is easy to see why some of his statements are misread since he seems to take a pugilist attitude in many areas.

    If you google Ken Ham and racism, you will see how his presentations can lead others to believe this. His attitude leaves much to be desired, leading others to assume the worst of him. His “science” is scorned by many, even within the faith. So, it is easy to see why others might misunderstand his thinking in this area. Frankly, on the basis of the science alone, there are many who have become deeply suspicious of him.

    I pray that Ham will not allow his “theology” trump his love as Wade Burleson is wont to say. Sending attorneys show that he has already done so.I do not like him, plain and simple but I believe he is a Christian.

  10. Dee,

    Please don’t apologize for the typo. Being a joke opportunist, I saw an opportunity and couldn’t pass it up. No offense intended. : )

    Back when I was under the influence of Six Day Creationists, I thought Ken Ham’s demeanor wasn’t abrasive – though my only reference for comparison was Kent Hovind (now there’s a story! albeit an old and irrelevant one). Have I just become more sensitive to the doublespeak and loosely hidden putdowns? Or has he gotten worse over time? I’ll admit that I’ve not seen him in videos or in real life for many years, so I have no firsthand experience with which to judge his tone nowadays.

  11. There was also some unfortunate unpleasantness between Ken Ham/AiG and Creation Ministries International, 2005-2009. See the Wikipedia article on Ken Ham for more details.

  12. Josh
    I actually started laughing while I was walking the pugs tonight. I started on all sorts of permutations for Hugh Ross (who, by the way, I have met and respect). There is Hog Ross-he rides a motorcycle, Hug Ross, one of those pastors who encourages everyone to hug one another during church, Humph Ross who says Humph when accused by Ham, Huh Ross- his response to another sidewinder from AiG…

    Kent Hovind-now there is one strange duck. Ham at least has an accent which people can mistake for sophistication. Hovind could never be accused of sophistication, for sure! I guess my perspective on Ham is colored by his debate with HUgh Ross and Walt Kaiser. Both of those men are brilliant, kind, loving Christians. None of those adjectives come close to describing my thoughts of Ham in those debates. Some people are not worth engaging-the wipe the dust off your feet kind of people.

  13. SGM
    I have never met anyone obsessed with Nephilim who was also a contributing member of society.I must find this guy.

  14. Kolya
    When I did my initial post on Ham a couple of years ago, I mentioned the unpleasantness. Apparently he ditched his ministry people in Australia and was accused of maybe taking some money from that ministry. The post did not make him seem to be a loyal kind of friend. Money seems to pop up a bit in Ham’s life.

  15. Dee:

    You can download his podcast from iTunes. It’s called “A View from the Bunker.”

    Never has a podcast been so appropriately named.

    BTW, that’s the second time today somebody’s referred to me as “SGM.”

    But that’s okay. I’m secure in who I am. Well, you know what I mean.

  16. I do not like eggs in the file.
    I do not like them in any style.
    I will not take them fried or boiled.
    I will not take them poached or broiled.
    I will not take them soft or scrambled,
    Despite an argument well-rambled.
    No fan I am of the egg at hand.
    Destroy that egg! Today! Today!
    Today I say!
    Without delay!
    Headwaiter in John 2,
    Did also think the wine not new.

  17. Christina while I appreciate your warm and friendly chastisement, I stand by my statement, I believe FIRMLY he’s a racist.

    I’ve heard him speak in person at numerous homeschool gatherings. He does not believe blacks and whites should inter-marry, and has said as much.

    Unfortunately I do not have videotapes of his statements at NCHE and other venues to back it up.

  18. One factor that may be contributing to my confusion is that I thought it was Kent Hovind who was a jerk to Hugh Ross in a debate. As it turns out, a debate between the two did happen (see here at the bottom of the page). Having dredged up the links, I’m not inclined to actually watch Hovind bloviate for hours to find out how much of a jerk he, in fact, was. That Ham debated Ross in similar character shouldn’t have surprised me, and may, if the links at the top of that page point to the right Ham/Ross interview, be independently confirmed by anyone who’s skeptical.

  19. I should have added in my post above – that Ham caught much flak for his separate people groups “theory” so he has changed his verbiage somewhat. He will say he’s not against intermarriage and we’re all of one race. But if you dig back far enough, you’ll find his speeches and such proclaiming that the fallen people of Ham deserved to be enslaved and such for centuries and that certain people groups should keep to themselves. All that tower of Babel nonsense about scattering the nations and keeping separate. It’s out there. I’m sure we could use the way-back internet machine and find some of it. I’ve been in the homeschooling circles for 11 years and witnessed some of it firsthand.

    I just did a quick search of the AiG page and he has some “impressive” anti-racism stuff there. But in my PERSONAL OPINION ONLY – it is there simply because of the flak he got for his explosive statements in the past. Throwing in my PERSONAL opinion only disclaimer because I don’t care to get sued by Answers in Moneychanging…oops I mean, Genesis.

  20. I’m pretty much an old earth kind of guy. It doesn’t shake my faith in an all powerful, loving Father, creator-God. The creation stories are pretty, and fit neatly into a prescribed formula for people who want to believe that you pray ‘the prayer’, and are automatically placed on the ‘who gets into heaven’ list. No reason to question or puzzle through the difficult things, just shut up, listen, and tithe. I do take issue with one of the comments that suggests God gets a kick out of watching all this, and ends with a giggle. Aren’t there far two many walking away from Him because of this kind of spiritual abuse for Him to be enjoying it? Aren’t people like Ham, and Piper, clobbering people over the head with their inapt, scripture raping ‘bible teaching’ something to be grieved, and not dismissed with a chuckle. I don’t want to appear to be attacking the commenter. I’m just concerned that most people don’t really see the carnage left by these types of money-hungry ‘teachers’. Christians, and non-christians are both being brutalized and many left for dead, by these kinds of ‘teachers’. My understanding of Jesus makes me think He’s looking down with horrified sadness. :-(

  21. @ Arce:
    I just got the best ones yet. Answers in Genes and Answers in Genetics. So similar and yet so different.

    Also Answers in Ham (the porcine kind), you know, looking a pictures of ham to see if there are images there that reveal God’s will.

  22. Josh
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Hovind was mean to Ross and OE types as well. Dr Dinosaur was a bizarre person as well as weird and strange and quite odd, I might add.

  23. Lindsey

    I googled this subject and believe that there is plenty of fuel out there for the claim of racism. Since Ham has burned so many bridges, he has no good will left. I do not trust his followers as well. I bore the brunt of the wrath of a few believers in a former church. Hence, they created a monster, me! Hell hath no fury….

  24. jack
    A well known Christian who debates atheists (he said this to me in confidence so i cannot identify him) told me that the young earth zealots are hurting the witness for the faith in Europe. You are correct. This is no laughing matter. I know one too many kids who were fed YE “science” who walked away from the faith in college when they were presented with the evidence for an old earth.One of them was a friend of one of my children.

  25. Eagle, what can be said after reading that?
    Abandon hope all ye hurting souls who enter Ortlund’s kingdom.

    Ortlund: “In today’s climate of victimization, hurt can, in fact, be hate. Elders are responsible to discern this and confront it…”

    Do you really have any hope that these self-appointed dictators will “see the light” and turn from their “lording over” ways?

  26. @ Eagle:
    In the comments, in answer to a question, Ortlund admits that sometimes leaders are the problem, and that “sometime” he will write a post on the subject.

    I wrote: “I’m looking forward to your post on the problem of sinful leaders.”

    He wrote back: “Thanks, Jeff. The scoffer is often found among the leaders.”

    I have a feeling that he will never write that post.

  27. Eagle I’m afraid the answer is yes, people do appear to be that gullible in the USA. There isn’t really a debate anywhere else about the history of the world other than by some small fringe groups. (It is significant that Ham comes from Queensland which is sometimes known as the Deep North of Australia.It has a reputation of being the least sophisticated state here.)
    Creationism seems only to have taken hold in the USA. Anywhere else questioning evolution ranks just behind questioning the Earth being spherical. I’ve never heard it being discussed in major churches here. Some people may disagree but largely they keep it to themselves. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists probably disagree but none of the major denominations bring it up.That it seems to be such a bone of contention in the USA is perplexing to many in other parts of the world.
    I don’t mean this as an attack on your citizenry as I have several relations in Pa, Ca and Tx. It’s just the view we get from the outside, I’m afraid.

  28. There are YE creationists in the UK, and I believe in Germany and possibly parts of Eastern Europe too. The latter may be explicable partly as a profound reaction against decades of enforced atheistic and materialist teaching.

    Why do some people come to the USA for their ministries? Good question, as the USA is (in statistical terms anyway) one of the most church-going and Bible-believing nations on earth already. It’s true that the US is a major, perhaps the major, player on the world stage, but on the other hand the high number of Christians in the US hasn’t necessarily translated to a corresponding influence in, say, the popular culture it gives to the world, any more than the British Empire left a legacy of godliness. Perhaps someone like Ham would say he wishes to change the culture and accepted presuppositions of the US.

    On the other hand, without wishing to be judgemental or cynical, I doubt whether it is any great hardship to move to the US to be engaged in ministry, and if I were a huckster from abroad, that is the country I would choose to make my fortune (not much money to be made from creationism in the UK!).

  29. Hello all…The following is from an unpublished book by Peter Hiett, pastor of The Sanctuary in Denver. Philip Yancey said he was “the best teacher he ever heard” and Hebrew professor Dr. Alison Schofield said this book was “brilliant.” He gives a “third way” of seeing this debate that is just astounding. Here is a snippet from the book calling both “Mad Scientists” and “Pharisees” to repent. He even shows how often Christians are the “functional evolutionists” when we find ourselves thriving on others’ failures and misfortune. (You have to be wrong so I can be more right…eous)

    Enjoy!

    “Mad Scientists and Pharisees”
    Well, there are at least two types of people that have a very hard time saying, “I don’t know.” I call them mad scientists and Pharisees. I’m a bit of each. Both make it hard to reconcile science and Scripture; Both change the facts in order to rewrite the story as their own story. Mad scientists distort the scientific record. Pharisees distort the biblical record.
    Both want control; both want to be God.

    “Mad Scientists”
    Every mad scientist wants to be God . . . like Frankenstein did. They all want to control life or make life, including their own life. They ignore God’s story because they want to write their own story. While I was studying geology at the University of Colorado, I had one professor who was an internationally renowned paleontologist. I heard that he had just left his wife and was shacking up with a grad student. It hit me one day on a field trip: “He’s not an objective observer. It really matters to him whether or not he sees transitional forms in the clam sequence. It really matters because he’s rejecting the Father’s story and trying to write his own story. It’s madness ,..but he’s trying.” Whenever we sin—have an affair; worship alcohol, sex, or things—I think we’re mad scientists trying to rewrite the story of creation, “worshipping and serving the creature rather than the creator.” (Romans 1:25). When science worships itself, it goes insane. If the idolatry of science destroys anything, it destroys itself; it destroys science through madness, for there can be no such thing as reason. “Reason” is not an object of scientific validation… neither is “meaning.” Some claim to “understand” all the facts, but none of the facts are worth understanding, for they can have no meaning. “Meaning” is not an object of scientific validation. Many of the principles in evolutionary theory make real sense, but when evolution worships itself, it goes insane. Sense becomes nonsense, for there can be no “sense,” by definition. No God, by definition. And then in desperation for sense that makes no sense, it distorts the facts to fit it’s own “story,” that is no story. When fully formed new classes, orders, and species of animal, suddenly appear in the fossil record it must conjure up evidence and invent theories far more fanciful than any Pentecostal prayer meeting. When evolution becomes god, the science goes mad.

    “Pharisees”
    Mad scientists distort the scientific record, and Pharisees crucify the Father’s story. They reduce the Father’s story to facts. Then they use the facts to write their own story. They “tithe mint, rue, dill, and cumin,” and they don’t even know what the story is about. Ironically, they think the story is about “the survival of the fittest,” making themselves first and seizing control. But the story is about sacrifice—being last and least; surrendering control.

    In 1632, religious leaders made Galileo recant for saying the earth revolved around the sun. They twisted scientific facts, and they twisted biblical facts to fit their story—their story of power and control. Today some people have built entire industries around one particular interpretation of the word day in Genesis 1. Perhaps we sometimes twist the facts to defend our institutions by controlling the story. But then it’s no longer the Father’s story filled with wonder. It’s our story. We claim to understand every fact, but the story is no longer wonder-full, it’s dead… and untrue. When I studied geology in college, I was really saddened at what some Christians called science. When I studied theology in seminary, I was shocked at what some Christians called theology.

    See: http://www.tsdowntown.com/ Look under “Theology” and click on “Epiphany” to view book. Read what he has to say about quantum physics and the “sixth day.”

    godslovewins.com

  30. “On the other hand, without wishing to be judgmental to cynical, I doubt whether it is any great hardship to move to the US to be engaged in ministry, and if I were a huckster from abroad, that is the country I would choose to make my fortune.”

    Don’t say that too loud! Calling these people hucksters will probably elicit screams of “PERSECUTION!!!!!” from all involved. Especially if you’re from Europe, which we all know contains only liberal false Christians and hedonistic socialist atheists. Right…?

  31. I didn’t call anyone a huckster, I only made a hypothetical case LOL.

    But yes you’re right Hester, you can’t move over here for liberal false Christians and hedonistic socialist atheists ;-)

  32. There is evidence for both old and young earth views. Why these men have made it a litmus test of true faith is pride – they are right, everybody else is wrong.

    It is clear (from the threats of lawsuits) that the real issue is MONEY. Men become like their God. If your god is money, you soon become cold and hard; if your God is the Lord, you soon become warm and pliable. (For some of us, it takes a little longer to become like our King; yet He never stops working with us).

    There is coming an accounting. All must stand before God and give an account of our lives. It is a very sobering thought that many, in our day, seemed to have forgotten.

  33. Also, Greg Neyman has found himself in a hard place; yet he is acting with grace by refusing to respond in kind. May God continue to bless his ministry.

  34. Dee & Jack – My comment was not to make light of the damage these men can do when pushing their agenda. My “ha, ha” was in sarcasm and yes, I do think God gets sick of this all and shakes his head. He also gives his grace and love to those who are hurt by it. Those who have read my posts here should know that I do not make light of such matters especially being brought up in an abusive church. If I offended anyone, I apologize. that was not my intent.

  35. @ Eagle:

    That post ticked me off too (to put it mildly). Ortlund seems to have it in for dissenters – it made me think of his post “How to rescue your church in three weeks”, which Dee & Deb linked to some time back.

    ‘Sometimes people overreach in this way because they claim they have been hurt…Moreover, in today’s climate of victimization, hurt can, in fact, be hate. Elders are responsible to discern this and confront it…’

    Oh, the patronising smugness!

    I certainly don’t need an elder to verify whether my hurt is legitimate, thank you very much.

  36. cranston
    Perhaps the gullibility in the US lies in the churches led my men who purport to do the thinking for the people. Recently there was a preacher who actually said that preachers understand more than the laity because they spend hours “contemplating” the Scripture and understand it better. Yeah right.
    Only in America could a preacher convince a woman to go home to a physically abusive husband and pray. I do not take umbrage with your comment. It is deserved.

  37. I always find these science and religion debates odd. I’m from a non-Christian family and both my parents are scientists. I’ve grown up around science, I’ve spent days during school holidays wandering around the physics building at the University of New South Wales (and I think breaking a couple of their interactive displays – I’m pretty sure the only reason there’s padding on the rail around the Foucault Pendulum is from me swinging it too hard), I’m a science PhD student myself. Because I grew up with science first and discovered Christianity later, it never occurred to me that anyone would see a conflict between the two. Honestly, I still don’t see it.

  38. Phillip

    I love Yancey. He is one of the few Christians writers to whom I refer people struggling with the faith.

    I, too, have heard and have no problem with the Old earth from perspective of man and Young earth from the perspective of God (day as a thousand years type thing.)

    The problem I have is applying it to science. We can show the age of the earth only in this dimension so science is limited to discoveries of what we can observe here. We cannot observe what goes on in God’s dwelling place.So science must be conducted on the basis of the here and now. Theology can help us see a bigger picture.

    I have to reject that a scientist who has an affair suddenly sees “transitional species.” The old saw, there are no transitional species, is unfortunately wrong and can be proven by a simple google search asking about transitional species. I used to believe this up until a few years ago. I found the evidence of the enormous number of transitional species and I have acquiesced in this area and am moving towards evolutionary creationism.

    Anytime a scientist claims to discover something, a paper is written and it is vetted by experts from all over the place. And, just because a scientist lives a licentious life does not mean he is cheating or refusing to see evidence in the science. I could point to millions of inventions and medicines that have been discovered by men and women who lead lifestyles that are not God honoring.

    On top of that, Christians are no less prone to sinful lifestyles. The divorce rate in the church is enormous (Christians have a 50% divorce rate, atheists 20% and Hindus in the single numbers) and the majority of those remarry (I am not talking about abused people with this comment.) As a church, we have hidden pedophiles in the pulpit and have tolerated with a wink pastors who carry on long term affairs. For example, Prestonwood Baptist in Dallas has done both. The pastor before Jack Graham carried on a long term affair and the deacons helped to hide it for a very long time. Then, Prestonwood discovered a pedophile on its staff, fired him and did not report it to the next church, allowing that man to go onto hurt others. Does this mean that the Bible is flawed or the message is wrong or made up?

    The human race is filled with fallen men, both within and without the church. Fallen people can still make wonderful discoveries and preach the word.Their behavior, although bringing shame does not negate the truth of the Bible.

  39. Hester
    I grew up in a non-Christian household in the Boston area. I did not know any committed Christians growing up. When I became a christian at 17, I knew no other Christians in my town, just some folks at Gordon Conwell. I found something wonderful about living the faith up north. When I met a christian, it was a precious experience because there were so few of us. Secondary issues were not discussed beyond a cursory treatment because we have far more important things to do-like find other Christians!

    Moving to the South was shock for me. Everyone claims to be a Christian but they do not treat it as a precious thing. So, we can attack one another on secondary issues and get into pastor-centric adulation. My guess is that European Christians are like those of us in the Boston area. There are many so lets cut the nonsense and get on with the Gospel.

  40. Koyla
    Don’t worry. There are hucksters in the faith. One only has to look at the lifestyles of some of our “leading” pastors.

  41. Randall
    Loved, loved loved your reply. I agree. Neyman is a great guy showing dignity unlike $Ham.$

  42. Scooter’s Mom
    There is nothing to apologize for. The Scriptures say that God does shake His head at our self-confidence. Like he said to Job “Were you there when I created this stuff?” I saw a funny cartoon in my local newspaper. The title of it was “God’s Favorite Comedy Show.” It showed him laughing at the Weather Channel.

  43. JJ
    I frankly have some real concerns with the supposed elders of today. Many tend to be overreaching men with little training. They are also subject to sin-covering up for the pastors and spreading rumors about the congregation (personal experience).

    Many elders are patronizing because their experience in churches have gone very well. They have always loooooved the church and pastor. They have never been hurt.I used to be like them. I thought people exaggerated their experiences and pain. Until it happened to me. I am so grateful that my trial occurred because, without it, I would have been totally ineffective on this blog. Let me assure you, the elders at my former church are not only smug but are also making some serious mistakes and it has hurt their church tremendously. Hopefully, they will one day wise up and get rid of business as usual.

  44. Deb
    There are fools; then there are damn fools unless Hugh Ross or Biologos or Old Earth Ministries are there.

  45. Pam

    I grew up playing in a museum in Salem, Massachusetts. There are some guards who probably retired early from chasing me around, trying to prevent me from causing irreparable harm. I am like you. I grew up understanding an old earth and never once considered it a problem with my faith. I do not get it as well. I think the Evil One loves to play around with our theology to suck us in.

    There is another example of this nonsense going on right now. The majority of the SBC is not Calvinistic. But, the Neo-Calvinists are a small, yet highly vocal group. They have now commenced to an all out war that I believe will escalate into a real mess pin the near future. They are already flinging around the heresy word (Semi-Pelagian, etc.). Ken Ham has taught both sides well.

  46. Dee,
    I grew up and came to the Lord in Connecticut, and you’re right. It was such a rare thing that there was not a lot of controversy. Now I work in inner city D.C., and it’s just bizarre to talk to these people who are listening to great gospel music, and in the next breath talking about what they do on the weekends, or cursing, or both.

  47. “Many elders are patronizing because their experience in churches have gone very well. They have always loooooved the church and pastor. They have never been hurt.”

    They are that way because they are not qualified. Very few I have met over the years are. If you think that you are qualified, your not.

  48. Interesting and helpful comments.

    I can relate to what you are saying about growing up in a minority environment (as a Christian), or at least one where in practice people seem to pay no real heed to the faith even if they were baptised/confirmed into it. In Europe there is a strong historical legacy of Christianity, from the days when it was (in name anyway, and probably in mental assent) the “Christian” continent (wars and other unpleasantness aside), but even the great and the good are not that engaged by it even when standing at official functions in, say, St Paul’s Cathedral. Tony Blair deliberately delayed his public conversion to Catholicism because he thought people would think it made him a weirdo!

    It’s interesting also the thing about being a minority within a minority, whether it’s AiG followers within the SBC or some of the people influenced by Sydney Diocese/SGM within the Church of England. Something I have observed is that minorities can still be very powerful and influential.

  49. Thanks Dee for the response. I guess I ran a risk by quoting a portion of the book when I am seeing the whole of what he said. I agree totally with your assessment of the matter. I apologize if by the segment I shared I came across as dismissing the good that scientists have achieved. I believe God is operative in all His creation!

    I have not studied the subject to the degree it appears you have so I do claim ignorance on the deeper issues of the debate. But I am not worried over what science discovers nor am I afraid of “theistic evolution.” All truth is God’s truth. However God brought about His universe was a miracle, right?

    What I think Hiett is saying is that both scientists AND religious folks can use their beliefs to excuse their bad behavior. And if we are listening to Jesus it is more oft the religious person that is blind to their sin and guilty of this (“..the sinners and prostitutes will get into the kingdom BEFORE you.”) This you pointed out in your statistics. I regret if I misrepresented Peter Hiett as somehow more harsh on the evolutionists/scientists, for in his teaching and preaching he consistently comes down much harder on the religious elite.

    Yes, faith in God gives us the bigger picture. Even if science can prove down to the details its theories on the origin of this earth it can only tell us the how and not the why of life.

    I have hated to see yet another area of such animosity among and between us (Christians and the world) so for me Hiett’s view seemed to offer a way to not dismiss science or faith while at the same time revealing how sometimes scientists (“mad” ones) can be “religious” and Pharisees are by nature “Darwinists” (the strong eating the weak). I guess all that to say that the problem isn’t science or the Bible. It’s when we want control of The Story in order to write certain people out and ourselves in as “God.”

    One last thing, in his explanation of time he is not saying, “to God a thousand years is like a day.” No, he is saying that according to science there is a place in our physical universe where scientists are saying we are actually literally in the 6th day– in THIS PRESENT dimension, not a spiritual one. If this is true I find this extremely intriguing. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Again I am fairly new to looking at this debate so I am only sharing something that seemed to assuage the battle between the “Mad” Scientists (distinguishing from “sane” scientists) and the Pharisees. And to reiterate Jesus’ assessment and also what Peter Hiett actually communicates (apparently unrepresented by my quote!) is that it is the religious-right who get it wrong more often than those who can’t see God.
    “It is because you claim to see that you are blind.” –Jesus

    Thanks for the discussion!
    grace and peace

  50. @ Dee:

    Wasn’t there a statistic published a while back that said something like 35% of American pastors never even read their Bible? And many downloaded sermons online instead of writing their own. I need to find that reference again.

    And it is true what you said about growing up in the North, at least somewhat. Once you find an “in” to the local Christian circles you can usually meet lots of people, but finding the “in” can be hard sometimes. And then when you do get in, if you keep your head on straight, you see that many of the conservative churches are filled with some pretty wacky theology (though that’s true everywhere).

    And a funny story about making assumptions based on “cultural Christianity” down South. A patriarchal family my parents knew when I was little moved from Connecticut to the Carolinas specifically to get a better selection of Christian young men for their two daughters. Twenty years later, both daughters are in their 30s and still single. Oops.

  51. I don’t recall you commenting on this recent happening, but AiG seems to think it was a good deal for them in showing how crucial a young-earth view is.
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2012/06/02/watch-ken-ham-in-debate-on-tbn
    It was a TV appearance by Ken Ham on TBN along with Hugh Ross, Ray Comfort, Sean McDowell, Eric Hovind, and John Bloom.
    Also available, a message by the board chairman of AiG about the debate:
    http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2012/06/09/millions-of-years%E2%80%94an-attack-on-the-cross/ “Old earth is an attack on the cross”

  52. Phillip
    Genesis 1 says the following: By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.(NIV). This means that we cannot be in the sixth day since the 7th day is addresses. So, I guess we are in the seventh day and holding until the new heavens and the new earth will be created.Unless, God entered the 7th day in his dimension and we are still hanging out in the sixth day in ours. How confusing for my brain. Any other theologians out there who could clarify this?

    There are scientist types who allow their bias to show when addressing others. For example, Stephen Hawking is an atheist and believes he has proven that the universe could have evolved from nothing without the intervention of a Creator. However, that part is theoretical on his part. However, it is most difficult to allow bias to affect scientific studies when they are vetted by peer review.

    You do not need to apologize. I actually enjoyed your comment. I think so many people in the faith fear science, thinking it is hell bent on disproving God In fact, the vast majority of scientists are involved in proving their particular area of interest and have little time to wast trying to “disprove” God. Do you know how hard the NIH grant thing is these days?

    I loved you comment.”But I am not worried over what science discovers nor am I afraid of “theistic evolution.” All truth is God’s truth. ” You sound just like me. I know there is nothing that will ever be discovered that will disprove God and so I marvel at all discoveries. I think there are people out there who have been sold a bill of goods that scientists are a bunch of creeps trying to disprove God. Another thread that runs even deeper is that many people are intimidated by science and cannot get a firm grasp on things. I believe that is how Ham gets away with some of the stuff on his site.

    Enjoying the discussion.

  53. Arlene
    TBN is a good place for Ham. They will let him get away with his shtick.They let a bunch of people get away with nonsense.

    Where Ham majorly screwed up was in a debate with Ross and Walt Kaiser on the John Ankerburg Show. He whined he was “discriminated against and released his own version of the debate with expanded answers to “prove”his points. Ham only does well in an arena where he is held up as an “expert.” He claims to have the science “peer reviewed” on his site. But, it can only be peer reviewed by those who are young earth!

    Old earth is an attack on the cross? Yep, ol Hammy is up to his old tricks. You see, if you attack the cross, you must not be a Christian now, are you? Ham has been pulling this stuff for years and that is why I think he is a mean spirited little man. That is why he got the boot from the homeschooling conferences. However, I guess he is a Christian, I think.

  54. @ Arlene Peterson:
    I slipped – I didn’t mean “debate” – that was AiG’s term for it. It was supposed to be a discussion on creation and evolution issues, but included Ken Ham waving his Bible in Hugh Ross’s face and demanding “where does it say ‘millions of years’ in the Bible?” He saw that as some kind of intervention by the Lord to get his message out.

  55. Arlene
    Ham waves his bible in everybody’s face and it you don’t agree with him, your faith comes under attack. My retort would be,
    ‘where does it say that the earth revolves around the sun as opposed to the sun revolving around the earth” or “where does it say that the earth floats on nothing as opposed to pillars” and on and on. He is sophist and the fact that Christians buy his arguments has more to say about the level of our teaching in the church than anything else. (uh,oh-the Hamite lawyers might be checking legal codes to see if I have hurt Ham’s bottom line as we speak). Ken Ham-Where are the pillars?

  56. Hester wrote:

    @ Dee:
    Wasn’t there a statistic published a while back that said something like 35% of American pastors never even read their Bible? And many downloaded sermons online instead of writing their own. I need to find that reference again.
    And it is true what you said about growing up in the North, at least somewhat. Once you find an “in” to the local Christian circles you can usually meet lots of people, but finding the “in” can be hard sometimes. And then when you do get in, if you keep your head on straight, you see that many of the conservative churches are filled with some pretty wacky theology (though that’s true everywhere).
    And a funny story about making assumptions based on “cultural Christianity” down South. A patriarchal family my parents knew when I was little moved from Connecticut to the Carolinas specifically to get a better selection of Christian young men for their two daughters. Twenty years later, both daughters are in their 30s and still single. Oops.

    The North: very location-dependent.

    I grew up in what I think of as the bible Belt of PA. Many people are culturally xtian, as in the South – just from slightly different strains of xtianity.

  57. None taken, and as I wrote in my post, I didn’t want to appear to be critical of you in any way! I’m sorry if it came off that way, I apologize. My intent certainly was not to add to anyone’s hurt or pain. Please forgive me.@ Scooter’s Mom:

  58. Just a quick follow up on my comment to Scooter’s Mom. I love this blog site! Dee and Deb are wonderful pastors. And I think that’s reflected in the atmosphere of comments left here. I probably spend too much time reading blogs, but it’s one of my favorite hobbies. All of the sites I read deal with faith issues in one way or another. All of that to say, my fellow congregants of 1st Church TWW, all seem to have a sense of grace and kindness, that are not as apparent on other blog sites. It’s nice to have two pastors who nurture such a Christ-like spirit within their ‘church’. :-) I love my ‘church’ family!

  59. Dee said, “I frankly have some real concerns with the supposed elders of today. Many tend to be overreaching men with little training.”

    Sadly there are also many “elders” and “pastors” with lots of seminary training but without the spiritual maturity to mark them as elders. I believe seminary training and second-hand learning through commentaries has taken the place of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these men.

  60. Jack said, “It’s nice to have two pastors who nurture such a Christ-like spirit within their ‘church’. :-) I love my ‘church’ family!”

    Me Too! :-)

  61. @ Numo.

    You’re right. I probably should have said “New England” instead of just “North.”

  62. Jack and MM,

    We are merely using our skills and this incredible technology to serve the body of Christ. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  63. @ Lindsey:
    Woah Lindsay, where do you get your info girl? Ken Ham a racist; not mingling blood lines?? He teaches that there is only 1 bloodline. You need to go to the source and not listen to what his haters say.

  64. Lindsey wrote:

    I’ve heard him speak in person at numerous homeschool gatherings. He does not believe blacks and whites should inter-marry, and has said as much.

    That’s nice, I’ve personally seen him speak at least 30 separate occasions and never once has he said anything remotely close to what you’re saying. In fact I’ve over heard him speaking to couples of different shades and it’s obvious that he is absolutely not a racist. You are a slanderer.

  65. “using our skills…to serve…” THAT’S A PERFECT JOB DESCRIPTION FOR ALL PASTORS. Shoot, for ALL CHRISTIANS, huh?!!

    @ Deb:
    @ Deb:

  66. jack
    You are too kind. Deb and I have been kicking around an idea to give letters of recommendation to those who come here who have been kicked out of previous churches. We could say that they are members in good standing and assets to the Body of Christ and be telling the truth. Let’s see, FWWC, First Wartburg Watch Church…

  67. Joe,

    You and I were not present at these homeschool gatherings Lindsey attended, so let’s be careful with the “S” word as well as the descriptor “girl”.

    That being said, here is an article at Answers in Genesis that supports your position. I wonder why Ham felt compelled to write it? Could it be that what he said was “misunderstood” and needed to be clarified?

    Interracial Marriage

  68. Joe
    As i said to a previous commenter, Google this. I am not saying Ham said it but his writings have given rise to many questioning his thinking, as well they should. Also, I do not like Ken Ham, but I do not hate him. That is a tactic of the left – claiming everyone who disagrees is a hater. That is questioning the heart intent of others and, unless you have a direct line to God, you do not know what their motive is.

    Ken Ham comes across as mean-spirited and his current stuff on Old Earth means denying the cross is a blatant attempt to use the heresy word. That is despicable. I do not question his salvation but I do question his tactics and his science. Oh, just so you know, I have gone to the source and have read extensively on his site and find most of it to be sophomoric.

  69. jack
    We are all servants of the Most High. It is only weak men who spend time trying to jockey for hierarchical positions.

  70. mot
    True believers in secondary doctrine often use this mode of attack. They know that they stand on shaky ground and so they must attack in other ways. Ham does it with the “You deny the Cross” garbage. He is going down a very dangerous path.

  71. mot
    Also note that Joe did not bring up the lawyers and the money issue. I bet if one of us sued someone, he would say we are unbiblical. Not so for “heroes.”

  72. @ dee:
    Dee suggested FWWC as an acronym.
    As humble apostle in chief headship, may I gently discourage this. Potential donors may reach the FWCC (of the Friends Church) by mistake, resulting in pay cuts for humble apostles. If this were to occur, I need not remind you of the pastoral degiftings which would follow……
    Seriously, on the Ortlund promise of an article exposing scoffing leaders— obviously humble apostle scoffers who lead families of churches are excepted.

  73. Joe,

    This is an honest question: how did you manage to see Ken Ham speak over 30 times? That seems like a lot to me – does he really have that much to teach?

    I also wonder what you think of the internetmonk article, which suggests that AIG presents a disney version of scripture, science, and the world? This seems compelling to me but I would like to hear the opinion of an AIG supporter.

  74. @ dee:
    Dee, Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the grace to do a little “thinking outside the box.” And yes, fear seems to be behind so much of this debate and the “industry” opportunities it affords.

    I have found Peter Hiett’s view fascinating and perhaps a way to bring the dogmatic a little closer to seeing some common ground (I know…ha!)

    He first points out the importance of seeing the difference between our “birth record” and our Story of how we came to life (out of “chaos”) narrated by our Father. One is the facts and the stats and the other is “the story.” Without the story the facts have no meaning. When an orphan asks, “who am I?” they are not asking how much they weighed and what hospital they were born in but “who was my mother and my father and did they love me and how did my birth come about and what were their hopes and dreams for me?” Science may explain the how but only the Story explains the why, the meaning (the “Plot,” the “Logos”). Both are true but the Story is what gives meaning to the facts.

    And as far as the “seven days” that are mentioned in Genesis chapter one: what if they are a narration of the COMPLETE Story of God that our Father is telling? What if in addition to an account of “in the beginning” it was also an overview of the Author’s (our Father’s) entire Plot? After all, we are NOT pronounced “very good” at this point– that is a reality that is still to come in the future of “all things new.” The true “Sabbath rest” is still to come according to Hebrews 4 (seven is the number of completion). YOU are not “finished.” Your re-creation is not finished.

    And if you look at Genesis Chapter 2 it takes us BACK to day 6 and essentially leaves us there and then on to the “fall” (ch 3) where we fall BACK into “chaos” in need of being re-created, redeemed, restored. This is how we find ourselves still somewhere in the sixth day. I believe Hiett gives valid grounds for seeing this both spiritually AND scientifically.

    When Jesus became the re-creation of Adam (2nd Adam) through His life, death and resurrection He said, “It is finished.” But was it? Salvation was complete but it was also a statement that is not yet fully realized. He meant not just that our sins were forgiven but that in the future the power and presence of sin were also going to be gone, finished. So we are “already” accessing the kingdom and at the same time “not yet” realizing its fullness. But God/Jesus being the “I Am” were always talking like this: “it IS very good” “I HAVE overcome the world” “It IS finished” “I AM making all things new.” So perhaps Genesis one is not just an account of the first creation but also the Story of our re-creation in Christ (lots of parallel language between Genesis one and references to Christ). Gen 2 and 3 show us where we are in the Story right now, still in the wreckage, the “chaos.”

    There are so many other nuances to Genesis one and two that became very obvious when they were pointed out to me. I can’t get into it here obviously. If you would like to glance at an overview by Peter Hiett of Genesis 1 & 2 there is a transcript of a sermon on Genesis that can be read quickly to see if you find anything that resonates with what you know through the Scriptures and through your study of science(!) I am sure you will find things with which you disagree but I think much of it makes a lot of sense.

    It’s called “The Deepest Story: Part One”

    http://www.tsdowntown.com/images/sermon_transcripts/2007/070211_The_Deepest_Story_I_withdisclaimer.pdf
    (I did not read but listened to sermon)

    grace and peace…

  75. Ah, Joe.

    You don’t scare me with your raw words and your “slander” accusation does not bother me one bit. The whole slander thing used by people such as yourself is a scare tactic and a straw man. I could turn the table on you and say YOU calling ME a slanderer is slander itself. Holds absolutely no weight with me, sorry.

    I didn’t drag out my nonexistent smart phone back at numerous homeschool meetings in the early 2000’s where Ham sang a different tune to appeal to the ultra-fundie crowd. He’s had 12 years to change a lot of his schtick to appeal to a wider audience. Perhaps he learned his lessons and really changed his “people groups” theory to be happy and accepting.

    It is what it is. Personally, I think he’s backpedaled with the one race argument and changed his position as a form of damage control from earlier, more incendiary statements. In the end, the bottom line is the bottom line. He would like to sell more dinosaur books, magazines, and DVDs to gullible homeschool moms.

    And he’s got a creationism theme park to build, by golly!

  76. @ Lindsey:

    Always thought Ham was a bit of a prat. In fact hearing him speak was what made me convinced that whatever else I believed about origins I really didn’t believe in YEC. But… a racist – seriously do you have a link?

  77. Richard
    I am not convinced he is a racist. I have also not ruled it out. However, those claims have been made for awhile.Just Google Ken Ham+racism and see what comes up. There is quite a bit out there. Is it all a lie? I don’t think so. I believe that ham has been so obnoxious in his defense of his reading of Genesis that he has garnered much ill will out there. And when that happens, people watch you very carefully.

  78. Here’s the deal Joe, Richard, whomever — my definition of a racist and yours may not be the same.

    The fact the man has said he thinks the fallen people of Ham, the African people, *DESERVED* their enslavement for the fall, then that’s enough of a dastardly claim for me to personally think he’s awfully racist. Real easy to make those claims about what people deserve when it wasn’t you or your family that endured it.

    I said NUMEROUS times before I do not have a link or video for you all. Sorry – I don’t. It is my personal belief that Ham has and feeds racist beliefs. Same way I think Doug Phillips of the Vision Forum is in love with the antebellum south.

    These guys don’t get the “benefit of the doubt” with me. They’ve got too much kooky stuff in their corner to come across as angels.

  79. dee said:

    I believe that ham has been so obnoxious in his defense of his reading of Genesis that he has garnered much ill will out there. And when that happens, people watch you very carefully.

    I say – YEP! That’s why I don’t trust him. Perhaps I should retract calling him a racist, so that you all feel better about things, but I don’t because I do personally believe it.

  80. Lindsey
    I believe the theme park with a built to scale Noah’s Ark will begin the downfall of Ham. There are too many issues-“science”, money, attitude,for him to doge it forever. His push for face time will reinforce his image. That ain’t gonna be to his benefit.

  81. @ dee:

    You’re assuming rational thought will win out over popularity and people following something because they like what they hear.

    As a counter point to that thought, GNC has $2 billion in annual sales.

  82. @ Lindsey:

    Lindsey,

    I attended a Christian High School that was by doctrinal statement young earth. As you can imagine, Ken Ham was high on the “chapel speaker wishlist” for the administration and he did do at least one presentation while I was there in the mid/late 90’s. I remember in his talk he spoke about the “one blood” concept and denied any issues with interracial marriage. He presented this as what he believed.

    However, given what we have seen from him when he perceives his bottom line is threatened, it is reasonable to say that money (and it’s acquisition) seems more important than how he treats fellow believers. If this is the case, the thought of his “adjusting” his rhetoric to his audience doesn’t seem incredibly far fetched. As you so aptly put, “he’s got a creationism theme park to build, by golly!” And that cuts to the heart of the matter right there in my opinion.

    It is an interesting commentary on a man’s character when he has the tone and stridency of a “true believer”, picking this hill to die on, and yet is making bank on the whole idea. And the infuriating thing about all of it is that while he peddles influence, builds a museum and makes money at it, real people’s faith is needlessly dieing on that hill.

    I can’t know Mr. Ham’s heart, I can only evaluate his actions. They leave me wondering.

  83. Lynn
    Right, as usual. People believe what they want to believe. The ones who are insecure are the ones who flip out when you question them.

  84. Ray
    My kids attended a Christian school that was big on young earth. But they came home to us and we educated them on the issues.We posed them to wide variety of beliefs and made sure they understood the science. They survived with their with intact. Unfortunately, that is not the case of several of their classmates who went onto college, became convinced of the arguments for an old earth and decided that they were lied to. I have tried to speak to them but to no avail. One day, some YE types will be confronted with the numbers who have been harmed by their stridency on a secondary issue.

    I believe the amusement park will be a folly and will expose Hamites to the difficulties of their doctrine.

  85. @ mot:
    It has nothing to do with her being a woman, I would have said the same to a man. To repeatedly call someone a racist, who is not, does put me in an attack mode yes.

  86. Joe
    I am afraid that Ham has an image problem. As I have repeated, Google it.It is not unreasonable to question his intent. His history has been quite condemnatory towards Christians who do not buy his line of thinking. AiG’s latest with old earth and the cross is one example. Your attack mode mirrors Ken Ham’s as well. You are modeling him quite well.

  87. Dee,

    I gotta agree with you on this one. After watching several exchanges between Ham & Ross on youtube, the difference between them is really apparent. Ross is secure in the belief that there are a great many things that we simply don’t know with our current science tools, and doesn’t come across with a “me wight you wong” type of attitude.

    Ham on the other hand is a consumate zealot. With them it is always “my way or the highway”. They are all of the same stripe regardless of the religion or secular ideology they adhere to.

    Even though I prefer Dr. Gerald Schroeder’s Jewish perspective on cosmology to Hugh Ross’s, I still have oceans of respect for Ross. With Ham it would be bare civility.

  88. Muff
    You see what many see. The Young Earth zealots (not to be confused with YOung Earth believers) are most difficult in their demeanor and approach. Joe is a good example. In fact, I think i am going to point out your comment to him.

  89. Joe
    I refer you to Muff’s comment above. I believe you might be close to Ken Ham so i want you to hear this loud and clear.

    Ham says he is not a racist. I guess I should take that on face value. And, in the past, I have done so with others. But over the last number of years, I have been startled by the number of “Christians” who have said one thing and done or believed another. The problem that I have with Ham is his approach and his demeanor which appears to me to be difficult. While I might enjoy spending a day with many people with whom I disagree, I would find it difficult to look forward to spending time with Ham, and it has nothing to do with his beliefs. It has everything to do with his presentation.

    So, as for the racism issue, here is what I am willing to say. Ken Ham claims that he is not a racist and he has spoken out against racism. But, due to his attacks on the beliefs of fellow Christians, I view his statement with suspicion.

    And for a guy who is such a Bible literalist, I do take umbrage with his use of lawyers in the case of Greg Neyman. But we are all hypocrites at one point or another, aren’t we?

    However, Ham is a fortunate man to have someone like you to defend his honor.

  90. He can attack all he want. Doesn’t change my opinion of Ken Ham one iota…if anything, it only solidifies my feelings toward Ham and his “supporters.”

  91. dee wrote:

    Richard
    I am not convinced he is a racist. I have also not ruled it out. However, those claims have been made for awhile.Just Google Ken Ham+racism and see what comes up. There is quite a bit out there. Is it all a lie? I don’t think so. I believe that ham has been so obnoxious in his defense of his reading of Genesis that he has garnered much ill will out there. And when that happens, people watch you very carefully.

    Well having seen his rhetorical devices I too find them obnoxious and his argument that Darwinism creates racism is silly and facile. But I’m always slightly nervous of making a serious accusation like racism without adequate evidence. Foolishness is one thing, knavery (which racism surely is) quite another. Googling as you suggest points to a lot of hearsay rather than definite proof. Please don’t take this as either Ham defence or attack on this site (which I think excellent) – both are a long way from my intention – but I have a strong aversion to accusations that can’t be fully supported.

  92. Lindsey wrote:

    Here’s the deal Joe, Richard, whomever — my definition of a racist and yours may not be the same.

    The fact the man has said he thinks the fallen people of Ham, the African people, *DESERVED* their enslavement for the fall, then that’s enough of a dastardly claim for me to personally think he’s awfully racist. Real easy to make those claims about what people deserve when it wasn’t you or your family that endured it.

    I said NUMEROUS times before I do not have a link or video for you all. Sorry – I don’t. It is my personal belief that Ham has and feeds racist beliefs. Same way I think Doug Phillips of the Vision Forum is in love with the antebellum south.

    These guys don’t get the “benefit of the doubt” with me. They’ve got too much kooky stuff in their corner to come across as angels.

    I suspect our definitions of racist are very similar, and I am very very far from a Ham supporter, as I have said, hearing one of his talks is what has made me an implacable opponent of YEC. But being wrong, being pig-headed and being unpleasant in your treatment of those who disagree with you are accusations enough. Racism really does seem qualitatively different and without clear evidence to back it up seems to me a step too far. The only link shown on here, is, if anything, a repudiation of racism, although horrifically insensitively written, showing no knowledge of modern thinking about the meaning of ethnicity, and written clearly from a cultural paradigm where there are a lot of racists about. The problem is the last sentence could have been written about my grandparents, who I’m pretty certain weren’t racists either!

  93. To be honest 30 is a conservative estimate. I’m a long time supporter of AiG and have done a lot of work behind the scenes. With that said, I’ve had the opportunity to know the ministry as a whole as well as Ken. So to dispel some rumors here, in it for the money he is not. The money that is brought into AiG is used to pay and insure the 150+ employees, pay overhead (ministries have bills too), keep up the nation’s most visited Christian website, support the creation museum, run the warehouse that stores and ships all their materials, travel expenses, etc etc the list could go on but you get the point. Ken himself is no but he’s no Rich Mullins, but he’s no Benny Hinn by far. Zillow.com puts his house under $150k and his vehicle is so so. Two years ago when the ministry was hit hard by the economy woes, all AiG employees had to take a pay cut, Ken voluntarily taking the largest percentage cut in order to make sure none had to be laid off.

    Ken being a crass, rude person? Okay for one he’s Australian…nuff said, no, kidding. The only time I’ve seen this is when he’s defending the word of God. Whether Ken’s position or theology is correct or incorrect is irrelevant here, it’s what he believes with his whole self and therefore his passion follows. If you love God with all your heart, which I assume most people on here at least try to do, and you dedicate your life to proclaiming His truth and goodness while others mock you and your beliefs about the God you serve, could you become a little impatient? This man has been fighting his fight for over 30 years now and all he sees are Christian brothers and sisters compromising more and more pushing man’s finite ideas about an infinite God’s creation into our culture, and by doing so loosing so many of the younger generations to a secular evolutionary ideology. Ken, right or wrong (remember that is not the argument), believes it’s this compromise that’s deceiving thousands and leading them to an eternity in hell; and his Christian opponents expect him to be soft and gentle with his conviction…..

    Let’s consider Martin Luther, a man that God used to be the leader of the protestant reformation, very crass.
    I believe that by reading the apostle Pau’s writings we can gather that he was an in your face kind of guy.
    Jesus said to His own followers in Mark 9, “You people don’t believe! How long must I stay with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you?” Harsh words spoken by our savior.

    The whole lawsuit issue, assuming that Ken is the big decision maker of the ministry is the first mistake. It’s a large ministry with CFOs, VPs a board of directors, Ken’s not calling all the shots.

    All this to say, if you don’t know a person, don’t drag their name through the mud.

  94. And for those who felt I was attacking them, to you I apologize. There are few things that get me steaming and throwing the word racist around is one of them.

  95. Joe wrote:

    Whether Ken’s position or theology is correct or incorrect is irrelevant here, it’s what he believes with his whole self and therefore his passion follows. If you love God with all your heart, which I assume most people on here at least try to do, and you dedicate your life to proclaiming His truth and goodness while others mock you and your beliefs about the God you serve, could you become a little impatient? This man has been fighting his fight for over 30 years now and all he sees are Christian brothers and sisters compromising more and more pushing man’s finite ideas about an infinite God’s creation into our culture, and by doing so loosing so many of the younger generations to a secular evolutionary ideology. Ken, right or wrong (remember that is not the argument), believes it’s this compromise that’s deceiving thousands and leading them to an eternity in hell; and his Christian opponents expect him to be soft and gentle with his conviction…..

    Sorry, Joe, I can’t agree with this. Your argument here doesn’t hold up. You say it doesn’t matter whether Ham’s theology is correct or not, that it doesn’t matter if he’s right or wrong, but you still think he’s right that believing in an old earth and/or evolution is a godless ideology. You still want to defend his right to condemn those of us who don’t agree with him as hell-bound heathens. You can’t have it both ways – either it doesn’t really matter and we should just agree to disagree, or the age of the earth becomes a hill for faith to die upon. I’m happy with the first, Ken Ham and yourself appear to be pushing for the second.

    Joe, you and Ken are welcome to believe YEC. What you aren’t welcome to do is make it central to the gospel and tell those of us who disagree that we’re betraying God. I don’t know you, so I can’t speak to how you interact with Christians who don’t agree with YEC. But I can tell you that the only fellow Christians who’ve ever accused me of being unsaved have been big fans of Ken and AiG and made the accusations because I said I believed the earth is billions of years old. Having someone question your faith and salvation is incredibly hurtful. It shouldn’t happen over an issue like this.

  96. Richard
    I agree. That is why I have stated that Ham claims not to be a racist and has spoken out against racism. Others view some of his writings differently and extrapolate. That is the problem with wanting face time in the media. Everything you have said, and the demeanor with which you say it, is forever recorded. So, I say Ham got himself into this mess and he will have to figure out a way to get out of it.Maybe he could try a little love once in awhile?

  97. Richard

    You made my point. Ham has brought this on himself.”repudiation of racism, although horrifically insensitively written, showing no knowledge of modern thinking about the meaning of ethnicity, and written clearly from a cultural paradigm where there are a lot of racists about. The problem is the last sentence could have been written about my grandparents, who I’m pretty certain weren’t racists either!”

    When you spend your life burning bridges, do not be surprised if your family don’t want to get into the bridge building business with you.

  98. Joe
    Have you wondered why I could guess why you knew him? Unfortunately you have been arguing for him for so long you do not hear your own rhetoric.

    Let me go through your response, point by point, to help you see what we see.

    1. Money-Ham used attorneys against Greg Neyman,a brother in Christ , and used money as a reason.I don’t care how he lives. This action spells money to me.Glad to hear you think it is a mistake. I believe it opens the windows a bit to his ministry and it seems that making bank is very, very important.

    2.You have just insulted a fair number of our readers who are Australians, living there now. You said “Ken being a crass, rude person? Okay for one he’s Australian…nuff said, no, kidding.”The Australians that I have met on this blog and in real life have been kind, thoughtful and loving. This sort of comment does give rise to the possibility that AiG does divide people into groups and treats them differently. That could give rise to racial/ethnic questions.Wait until a few of our readers read this. This was a most unfortunate comment.

    3. “This man has been fighting his fight for over 30 years now and all he sees are Christian brothers and sisters compromising more and more pushing man’s finite ideas about an infinite God’s creation into our culture, and by doing so loosing so many of the younger generations to a secular evolutionary ideology.”

    I believe in an old earth and tip towards evolutionary creationism. You call me a compromiser. I love the Lord as does all of my family. Our kids have not been lost to secular views of the world. They are adults, attend church, and are involved in missions outreach. You insult me, my family and everyone else who loves the Lord by calling us compromisers. You cannot make the jump to say we disagree. You must denigrate us and that is the precise attitude that has caused many to dislike Ken Ham.

    As for losing kids, you have knocked on the wrong door. My kids were raised in a church and school that preached the AiG word. We taught our kids differently. We know two kids, friends of my kids, who have left the faith because they felt they were lied to on this issue. When I told one young man who is studying to be a doctor that it is OK to believe in an old earth he told me it was too late for that. He no longer trusts Christians. So, good job there.

    4. You said it’s “this compromise that’s deceiving thousands and leading them to an eternity in hell; and his Christian opponents expect him to be soft and gentle with his conviction.”

    It is the advocacy of an untenable scientific position that causes kids who understand science beyond the high school level to leave the faith. And that is why I am as intractable in my position. I believe your ministry is causing young people to leave the faith and scientists to refuse to listen to the Gospel message. I believe you have mixed up the Gospel and a secondary belief system and are doing so the detriment of many.

    I have news for you. People are not going to hell for believing in an old earth. That shows a deep misunderstanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, this statement alone, for the first time, causes me to raise a question about the faith of Ham. Is he a Christian or merely an ideologue who equates faith to a belief in a secondary issue? Are you both Pharisees? You have caused me to begin to doubt that AiG believe in the Gospel that I know. This is one comment that will cause me to think, and talk with others, about this weekend. Could it be that you all have formed a new religion? I am now contemplating a post in which I will question that understanding the Gospel by those affiliated with AiG.You go to hell for eternity by believing in an old earth. Wow!!

    5. Ken Ham should not be included in the same breath with Jesus,Paul and Martin Luther. Jesus is in His own category-the Word of life.The others contended for the Gospel. Your man is contending for a 6-10,000 year earth. Good night! Ham is no Paul and it is embarrassing to put him in that category.

    Joe, unfortunately you have well represented the concerns that I have with AiG. I pray that you will see, in this comment, the deep problems of the teaching of AiG.

  99. Pam
    Thank you fro your comment to Joe. It seems we were both responding at the same time. The problem with these “true believers” is that they are willing to trash anyone who does not get in line with them. I contend that deep, down inside, they are deeply insecure. Only those who are insecure say such things. If Ken Ham had the power that John Calvin did, many of us would be rotting in jail today.

    His comment causes me to now question AIG. I used to believe that they were merely ill-mannered CHristians causing a rumpus over something which is secondary. Joe used the word “hell” and now I am beginning to question if they truly understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The rhetoric is ramping up and this may be exposing their underbelly. The use of attorneys in the Greg Neyman situation means that they are able to ignore other parts of the Scripture as well. I am deeply concerned that they have gone over to “the dark side.”

  100. Dee posting for Sergius

    Joe,
    You and Ken are welcome to believe YEC. What you aren’t welcome to do is make it central to the gospel and tell those of us who disagree that we’re betraying God.

  101. @ Pam:
    Your argument doe not stand because there’s no basis for it. Not saying this with a rude tone, but show me where Ken has ever said that believing in millions of years makes you a hell bound heathen.

  102. dee

    “Money-Ham used attorneys against Greg Neyman,a brother in Christ , and used money as a reason.I don’t care how he lives. This action spells money to me.Glad to hear you think it is a mistake. I believe it opens the windows a bit to his ministry and it seems that making bank is very, very important.”

    They could only wish they “were making bank” If that were true they would have already have started the ark project as they wanted to last fall.

    “You have just insulted a fair number of our readers who are Australians, living there now. You said “Ken being a crass, rude person? Okay for one he’s Australian…nuff said, no, kidding.”The Australians that I have met on this blog and in real life have been kind, thoughtful and loving. This sort of comment does give rise to the possibility that AiG does divide people into groups and treats them differently. That could give rise to racial/ethnic questions.Wait until a few of our readers read this. This was a most unfortunate comment.”

    You quoted me and yet you missed the “kidding” part.. you’re searching for reasons to disagree with me and blew that one way out of proportion.

    “I believe in an old earth and tip towards evolutionary creationism. You call me a compromiser. I love the Lord as does all of my family. Our kids have not been lost to secular views of the world.”

    Praise God, I’m truly blessed to know that, but they are in a minority. all you have to do is do a bit of digging into why many Christians became atheists. Don’t take my word for it and don’t base your opinions on a few personal experiences.

    “I have news for you. People are not going to hell for believing in an old earth. I am now contemplating a post in which I will question that understanding the Gospel by those affiliated with AiG. You go to hell for eternity by believing in an old earth. Wow!!”

    Again, neither Ken or I ever made the claim that believing in an old earth keeps you from being a Christian. I don’t know, maybe that’s news to you. You’ve been mislead by someone to think this I suppose. It’s faith in Christ alone that saves a person, period. So you can rest easy there.

    “Jesus is in His own category-the Word of life.”

    Cudos, I give you that one. None the less we are to follow His example and strive to be like Him yes?

    “The others contended for the Gospel. Your man is contending for a 6-10,000 year earth.”

    Ken is contending for the authority of The Word of God. In doing so some secondary issues come to the surface, just as they did with Luther and Paul.

  103. Joe
    When you start to link the Cross and the Doctrine of the Atonement to YEC you have already made the leap. These are word games with plausible deniability.

  104. dee wrote:

    Pam

    His comment causes me to now question AIG. I used to believe that they were merely ill-mannered CHristians causing a rumpus over something which is secondary. Joe used the word “hell” and now I am beginning to question if they truly understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Let me clarify something here, and I’m sorry I lead you astray on this one. When I made the comment about people going to hell I was referring to the lost, people who have no faith in Christ, and refuse to do so because they can’t seem to reconcile the current scientific theories with an Almighty Creator. Again clarifying here. FAITH IN CHRIST ALONE SAVES YOU, not what you believe about the age of the earth or anything else for that matter. You can believe in alien cupcakes if you want to, but If you trust that Jesus is the Son of The Living God, that He died for our sin, and rose from the grave, you’re heaven bound.

    I hope I have made this clear, let me know if I have not.

  105. Joe
    I did not miss the kidding part. If you note, I quote it. I did not like this statement. It is a simple matter of manners to not make insults about race, nationality or ethnicity unless you have an established relationship with the people to whom you are addressing. It could be misunderstood and lead people to go down a road which might cause them to believe there are issues in this area.

    The lawyer thing had to do with money. So,with your explanation, it could be perceived perhaps the ministry needs money and that is why this ill-conceived action was taken against a brother in Christ.Build an ark by messing with your brother! How loving.

    Once again, you insult my reader and me with this statement. “all you have to do is do a bit of digging into why many Christians became atheists. Don’t take my word for it and don’t base your opinions on a few personal experiences.” I have done extensive digging in this area-far more than most people. I totally, absolutely and indubitably disagree with you. I believe it is the belief in YEC that causes people to leave and that is based on extensive reading over many, many years. There are tons of books and posts and blogs written that look at the data in a diametrically opposed fashion than AiG. We point blank think AiG is wrong and it is based on thoughtful analysis. AiG and Ham are not the only ones who have taken this seriously but they sure like to pretend they do.

    You also cannot say this “Ken is contending for the authority of The Word of God. In doing so some secondary issues come to the surface, just as they did with Luther and Paul.” Paul speaks the very Word of God. Luther does not. You cannot hold their testimony in equal standing.

    Also, you have betrayed yourself. When you claim that we reject the authority of the word of God by believing in an old earth, you go down the heresy path. And that is what I dislike about AiG. You play games with words such as authority of the word of God, the Cross and OEC, and doctrine of the atonement and you know it. If one rejects any of those concepts, one is not considered an orthodox Christian.

    Listen to me very carefully. AiG has tooted this horn for a long time, attacking good and faithful Christians for believing differently. Do not pretend you believe that we are all Christians while throwing out denial of the doctrine of the atonement and authority of the Word of God. That is despicable. I don’t like it and I don’t like Ken Ham and it has nothing to do with his belief in a YE. I believe he is hurting the cause of Christ by his crusade and you are reflecting his attitude in a clear manner and for that I am grateful.

  106. Joe
    Cut out the nonsense. “You can believe in alien cupcakes if you want to” Do you not understand how you are hurting your cause by that statement. Many of us, along with the vast majority of Christian scientists, have studied this subject in depth. Perhaps you are not adept at discussing these issues in a blog format. To compare this to believing in “alien cupcakes” diminishes the very real concern that many of us have for this issue. You sound flippant. You should have stopped at this statement. “FAITH IN CHRIST ALONE SAVES YOU, not what you believe about the age of the earth or anything else for that matter.”

    However, once again, faith in Christ is predicated that you understand what Christ did on the Cross. When AIG brings the Cross into their argument, it is a backhand slap and is poorly conceived. As a thinking Christian, I come to the conclusion that such tie ins are slippery ways to imply heresy.

  107. Joe-

    Paul was not contending for the Word of God. The Word of God did no exist yet as we know it today. He was contending FOR the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul was concerned about secondary issues BECOMING primary issues (circumcision, food, etc.) He did not spend his time and money promoting the earth as young or old. He spent the end of his life preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ken Ham spends his resources promoting and defending a secondary issue. There is a difference to me and, as you can see, to many.

  108. Bridget
    I loved your comment. Now it remains to be seen if Joe is referring this all to the Hamite lawyers to see if they can find some reason to sue me.

  109. Dee, If they sue, please ask your lawyer to countersue for abuse of process (suing without legitimate grounds), legal fees, and your time at typical Baptist mega church pastor salaries. Agree to settle on receipt of a check for six figures.

  110. Dee, you take yourself much too seriously, so much so that I feel almost as if I’m being attacked for my beliefs about scripture. Let’s see, is that not what you’re accusing Ken of doing?

    Another perfect example of you really searching for a fight is the cupcake comment. Apparently we need to define to you what sarcasm or a joke is and how with normal folks it can be used to lighten what is currently a tense situation. Yet you choose to use it to intensify. If that is your way of treating fellow believers than I suppose you’re just as big a sinner as I.

    “It is a simple matter of manners to not make insults about race”
    I believe in only one race so to insult a race would be insulting myself… And I know several Australians on a very close and personal basis, they would have found that joke funny.

  111. Joe

    You said: “Apparently we need to define to you what sarcasm or a joke is and how with normal folks it can be used to lighten what is currently a tense situation.” So, if I don’t get your jokes it’s my fault? Hey Sergius-he thinks I have no sense of humor.
    So, who is “we?”

    And I know you know Australians-you represent one who reportedly left things in a bit of disarray when he came to find greener pastures in the States.

  112. Joe
    PS watch out when you lecture people on their blog. You know your idol does not allow dissenting opinions on his blog. I have tried. I have more guts than he does and I am also cuter and funnier.

  113. Let’s be charitable here my brothers and sisters, as I think the temperature of the water is rising here somewhat.

    I accept that Joe did not intend to insult Australians, and I was glad to hear him say that only faith in Jesus Christ saves.

    For what it’s worth, I would add however for his benefit and everyone else’s that I don’t know anyone who has left the faith because of old-earth and/or evolutionary teaching. I know a man who was once a Christian and now isn’t who had a DARWIN parody of the fish sticker on his car, but I think that was after other reasons made him change his mind some years beforehand.

    I know another man who was doing a science degree and got into YEC, but violently rejected it later. However that may have been tied in with the sort of church he was going to.

    All of which shows that, as some here have said, we cannot truly know a person’s heart in these matters.

  114. An Attorney
    Do I need to worry? He referred to himself as “we.” Re: 6 figures, I shall donate it all to the blog Old Earth Ministries formerly known as Answers in Creation until a mean-spirited literalist decided to ignore some Scripture and threaten to sue a brother.You obey what you wish and the rest is open to interpretation.

  115. Dee,

    I agree with you strongly re Ken Ham’s action against Answers in Creation. I also thought it would be quite clear to anyone visiting the two sites that they are quite different, and that AiG is defintely not AiC!

  116. I personally know people who have left the faith having been avid acceptors of the 6,000 yo earth, hook, line and sinker. But when they began to see alternatives, and having bought the idea that an old earth means that that the Bible is entirely fiction, they left the faith and became antagonistic to Christianity. It is not an uncommon phenomenon.

    My personal take is that if the Pentateuch and other early history books of the Bible had been written with scientific accuracy, they would have not been accepted or believed. So I believe a loving God, working with ignorant (uneducated in modern science) men, caused the writing of a lengthy parable to explain creation and God’s role in it. It does not make it less true in the sense of what it teaches about God and man’s relationship to God, rather it is that higher order of truth. Literal truth is a low level of truth in philosophy and theology. Spiritual and theological truth is the higher truth.

    Btw, we do not require that the parables of Jesus be literally true, because they were teaching stories about the nature of the kingdom of heaven, crafted by the Master to help us to understand Him and the path to salvation.

  117. Joe,

    Here at TWW all points of view are tolerated, even if they diverge from what is generally accepted amongst conservative evangelicals. Try typing a dissenting comment at one of the other blogs and see what happens. In fact, some of the other blogs don’t even allow comments period, whether for or against the topic at hand.

    This is why I keep returning to TWW. It’s because of their tolerance, even for liberals like myself.

  118. @ Joe:

    Joe, my ‘argument’ was recounting my personal experience. My personal experience has been a couple of brothers in Christ questioning my faith simply because I believe in the big bang, evolution, and an old earth. They linked articles from AiG to back them up (this was a few years ago so I don’t remember what the articles were). We’ve since apologised to each other for a few heated arguments. We agreed not to discuss it with each other anymore, and they don’t question me, I don’t question them. We accept that we have a fundamentally different view of science and the world, but the same Saviour, and so we put aside those less important differences to focus on that big agreement.

    Again, I’m more than willing to do that. Ken Ham doesn’t seem to be as open to differences of opinion.

  119. @ Pam:

    That’s great (No sarcasm here. That’s one problem with reading comment’s you can’t tell when someone is genuine and when they’re being sarcastic.) Those brothers should have never questioned your faith, by doing so they do not understand the gospel, as others on this blog have accused me of.

    There are some very very bitter people on this blog just looking for ways to bite into fellow believers, you seem to be one of the more reasonable ones that perhaps just misunderstood where I was coming from at first, so thank you for that.

    You are correct however on Ken not being as open to differences of opinion though and this is why. Our opinions in the grand scheme of things really don’t matter. It’s God’s Word that never fails. So with that said I will make my final statement or stand if you will.

    I originally broke into this blog to defend a brother in Christ who was being falsely accused of being a racist. (Which I despise and could not just stand by and let happen, so sorry for coming on so strong) If anyone still wants to hold to that belief and falsely accuse a brother in Christ, than it will be on your head, not mine.

    This is why I believe in a literal reading of Genesis and support a ministry that believes the same. It’s simply a matter of trusting God more than I trust man. We could debate theologies throughout the bible using scripture, careful study of the original texts, but when people want to debate God’s creation they immediately go outside of scripture to man’s understanding of the universe. Our “science” changes rapidly, always has and always will because we know so little, and yet we continually puff ourselves up and claim to know it all. Then we discover something new that totally flips us on our heads; shortly thereafter claim to NOW know everything… It wasn’t until recently that science proved that we’re all one race, the human race. Something that the bible has said all along yet our science said otherwise till now.

    Could I be wrong? YES, because I’m a fallen man in a fallen world with a pinky fingertip grasp on the knowledge of how our God has created. Therefore I choose to trust His Word, the only true reference we have to the beginning. When He says the morning and evening was the first day, I take Him at His Word. When He says, God created in 6 days and rested on the 7th therefore you shall keep the Sabbath, I take Him at His word. When I stand before our Father someday, if He asks me, why I believed in a young earth I can boldly testify that I wanted to trust Him more than his fallen creation to guide my beliefs. If I’m wrong than I know He won’t boot me out of heaven for that, just as He won’t for those who believed in an old earth. I just don’t want to be in the wrong and use the excuse of, “well it’s what smart men with PHDs said was true, so I re-interpreted what believers knew your Word to say for thousands of years to fit the current scientific beliefs that were being used to explain how life came into existence without You”..

    So if I’m wrong, I’m wrong with a clean conscience before our God. That’s what is important to me and not what you think, and likewise you shouldn’t care what I think about you. Your concern needs to be with our Father.

    May God bless you all and know that I love you as brothers and sisters and look forward to seeing you when we get home.

  120. Joe

    As the moderator of this blog, I get to call some things when I see it. As you know, you have freedom on this blog to express yourself in anyway you wish. I can also tell you that such a thing is not allowed on the AiG blog.This is place in which you can fully express your thoughts and there is no fear for those who ardently oppose one another. I think that is not the case with AiG.

    Let’s talk about assumptions. You claim we misunderstood Ham and judged him wrongly. Yet you immediately do the same. “There are some very very bitter people on this blog just looking for ways to bite into fellow believers.” How do you know we are bitter? Did you know that the word “bitter” is used by people to marginalize those who think differently on a matter? I would refer you to a well-known book called The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse. How do you know we are bitter? Did you base it on a couple of comments? Does using the word help you to blow off people who strongly challenge you?

    You said “If anyone still wants to hold to that belief and falsely accuse a brother in Christ, than it will be on your head, not mine.” What you have not done is show an understanding why someone might be inclined to believe such a thing. Are all of these people just nuts or could it be that Ham’s demeanor has contributed to causing people to think that way? There is a saying that is helpful in these circumstances. “Seek first to understand rather than to be understood.” Do you understand?

    You said “I just don’t want to be in the wrong and use the excuse of, “well it’s what smart men with PHDs said was true, so I re-interpreted what believers knew your Word to say for thousands of years to fit the current scientific beliefs that were being used to explain how life came into existence without You”..”

    Please, please, please listen to your words. When you say this is an excuse, you deeply misunderstand the objections of many Christians in this area. We are not making an excuse. We deeply believe we are right when we look at the evidence. And we love the Word as much as you do. Once again, you seek to be understood without taking the time to understand. Such a statement will alienate those with whom you wish to dialogue. hear me, we are NOT making an excuse.

    Even worse, we do NOT believe that life came into existence without God.Who told you such a thing? This is a profound misunderstanding of those of us who hold to theistic evolution or an old earth.

    Joe, I have been hard on you for a reason. If you take time to read this blog, you will find that I love all sorts of people and attempt to understand why they believe what they do. Everyone is welcome here. It is a place of discussion. I desperately want you to understand who we are and what we object to in YEC. I know one guy who runs a YE think tank here in North Carolina. He is friendly with Ham. He told me, point blank, that he would never allow any other perspective to be taught in a church. He has shut down communication and he hangs with others who agree with him. He rarely, if ever, hears the other side. And when he does, he cries foul and starts whining about fairness.

    Do you want a dialogue? If so, it is necessary for you to understand that certain methods and “trite” phrases do not help and may even be wrong, which I proved to you when you said “current scientific beliefs that were being used to explain how life came into existence without You.” God is first, at the beginning and always within and without His creation. Never, ever doubt that your brothers and sisters deny such a thing.

    I pray that love is the first thing that we think of when we hear “Ken Ham.” That is not the case at this time.

  121. Joe I’m perfectly fine with that being on my conscience. My belief about Ken Ham still stands. He may have changed his verbiage over the years, but his behavior still reeks.

    I am perfectly entitled to believe whatever I wish about whomever I wish, without you threatening my “conscience before God.” That’s a scare tactic, and you know it.

    I will not address you again Joe. Period. This is my final time directing words at you, and that makes my conscience feel very good, clear, and at peace.

  122. @ dee:
    Dee, I’m not accusing believers of using millions of years and evolution to disprove God, it’s the hardened unbelievers who will go to any length to prove that there is no God, evolution and millions of years just happens to be their favorite tool, because without the two, you’re left with only one choice, God.

  123. dee wrote:

    Re: 6 figures, I shall donate it all to the blog Old Earth Ministries

    Dee, I like this idea! With a mid-six figure amount, I could quit my job, and for the rest of my life expose Ham and his YEC beliefs. First on the agenda would be consulting a trademark lawyer and consider changing the name back to Answers In Creation.
    Thanks to Dee, and to all the readers of this blog. This article and discussion has been very uplifting for me.

  124. Joe –

    The hardened unbeliever will not have his heart softened one tiny bit by suddenly changing his thinking about the age of tbe earth. All the teaching in the world about the age of the earth won’t change a man’s heart — ever!

    God will change the man’s heart!

    I will stand before God and THEN will HE make clear to me the details of the earth’s origin. But I doubt I’ll care all that much when I am standing in His presence!

    For now I believe I am created in the image of God. My brain, that God created, tells me that the earth could be billions of years old. It also tells me, as I look around, that man and all creation did not come into being by chance. So, I will stand before God and say I was not there when you created mankind and all of creation so I will not presume to know it all.

    I won’t presume to know all the details now either. I don’t want to alienate unbelievers who hold an old earth view. I’d rather the stumbling stone be the Cross, and not the age of the earth before they have the chance to hear about Jesus.

    Unbeliever’s are exposed to Ken Ham’s teachings. The question is, “How does it affect them?” Do Ham’s teachings become a stumbling stone and should they?

  125. Joe
    I disagreed with the word ‘excuse.” We do not believe in OEC or TE due to an excuse. Also, just because someone uses something for bad, does not mean that it is invalid. For example, narcotics are used by drug addicts to get high. But, narcotics are wonderful in diminishing pain for those who have been injured or have pain from cancer.I am reminded of that old saw-“Just because you are paranoid, does not mean someone is not out to get you. :)

  126. Greg
    Keep us posted on any further issues involving attorneys, etc. We are always happy to post updates. Also, let us know if we can help you any way. If you would ever like to guest post for us, our forum is open to you.

    It surprised me me that such a literalist as Ham would overlook a fairly literal passage on suing a brother. He has exposed his belly once again.

  127. I accept Joe’s line of reasoning, though it is not my own.

    However I don’t think unbelievers need evolution, old earth or any other theory to justify their stance. At the end of the day belief is also a matter of behaviour, not just of intellectual assent. The England of Wesley’s day (pre-Darwin!) was rife with unbelief in practice if not in theory. I’m not sure how much the workers sat down and earnestly debated theories or whatever. I do know that God, using Wesley and Whitefield both preaching Christ crucified, brought many back to Himself.

  128. Lindsey
    This is an ill-conceived video that suggests that a non belief in God will lead to societal mayhem. If Ham wishes to reach atheists, accusing them of being willing to indiscriminately kill others.

    Here is the Achilles heal.Being a Christian does not make us better than others. For example, atheists have a far lower divorce rate than Christians.

  129. “Thirty percent of atheists and agnostics had been married and subsequently divorced. However, the three-point difference from the national average was within the range of sampling error, suggesting that their likelihood of experiencing a dissolved marriage is the same as that of the population at-large. A representative from Barna also pointed out the atheists and agnostics have lower rates of marriage and a higher likelihood of cohabitation, a combination of behaviors that distort comparisons with other segments.”
    http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/15-familykids/42-new-marriage-and-divorce-statistics-released

    I have heard a couple of times that atheists have a far lower divorce rate than Christians. This is a quote from a Barna report on a survey they did (over 5000 people interviewed). While there are a number of web sites that discuss the relative rates(and the Google “abstract” mentions that atheists are lower in divorce rate), Barna tends to be relatively dependable in their use of statistics. Based on a cursory review, the most dependable predictor of staying married seemed to be economic advantage.

  130. Bennett

    “Based on a cursory review, the most dependable predictor of staying married seemed to be economic advantage.” Don’t you wish we could say that it was God that held the marriages together?

  131. Joe only mentions 'smart men'. Smart women are scientists with PhDs too – my mum is one and, if all goes to plan, I'll be one in 18 months.